• Question: do you believe that there are still dinosoars on this earth ?

    Asked by emilyscott to Alastair, Emma, Hywel, Keith, Vicki on 16 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      Hi Emily
      i don’t think there are dinosaurs roaming around like jurassic park, but crocodiles existed as long ago as the dinosaurs. It’s also possible that birds are descended from dinosaurs.

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      I don’t think that we’ll find any dinosaurs hidden in some remote jungle. The main reason for this is that while new specifies are found all the time, they are genetically fairly closely related to known animals. That an animal genetically so distinct as a dinosaur could have survived in a small ecological niche for such long period of time doesn’t seem likely.

      However, as to the ancestors of dinosaurs, birds are pretty common! My understanding is that birds are thought to have evolved from a dinosaur ancestor, so in this sense the descendants of dinosaurs are very much with us.

    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 15 Jun 2010:

      No Emily, sadly I don’t. They did all become extinct, which is sad because my two boys love dinosaurs!

      Some of the later dinosaurs were starting to resemble early birds and it is likely that evolution allowed these birds to develop into the birds we know today. What we also know is that the loss of the dinosaurs, which really did rule the world millions of years ago, allowed for the growth, development and evolution of the mammals, which became a large dominant species. Don’t forget though, that we still have crocodiles which are the closest relative we have of the dinosaur and they can live of long periods.

    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      Hi again Emily,
      I believe that there are still dinosaur fossils, and plenty of them! If you mean dinosaurs in terms of evolution, I think that you can draw a lot of links between some animals that we see on a regular basis now and dinosaur fossils that have been discovered. If for example you look at the skeleton of a chicken and compare it to that of a T-Rex, you will find they look remarkably similar! This topic however is hotly debated, with a lot of scientists believing that birds have evolved from maniraptors; a breed of small dinosaur. As to what I believe, I think this sounds plausible – there are a lot of dinosaurs that bare a striking resemblance to birds (including the velociraptor!)